There are very few things that are more “Classic 80’s” than the WALKMAN. When it came out, it was the birth of compact tech that allowed you to easily bring your music with you anywhere. We take it for granted today, but it was fairly novel at the time. Along with it came a new era of music. Digital recording allowed for electronic effects, which has shaped the majority of popular music today. LEGO builder Jarek Książczyk (Jerac) pays homage to one of the icons that started it all, with this excellent scale model of the Sony WALKMAN.
What makes this retro build most awesome is the fact that the player opens up to hold a “cassette.” Additionally, he snuck in some electronics to make it seem like it actually is functional.
Nowadays, custom chess sets built from LEGO are not at all unusual. It is after all the most popular board game and can be played over and over again without getting boring. It has also recently experienced a surge in popularity following the Netflix series Queen’s Gambit. Being easy to build from LEGO, it is something many builders do at least once in their life. Here, Daniel Barwegen adds his own flair to the arsenal of stylised LEGO chess sets.
I was immediately drawn to the uniquely spindly pieces with the wide bases. Some pieces like the king and queen continue the design to their crowns, which are sharp and angular, and even the horse-heads of the knights include teeth and gears. I love that the pieces appear easy to grip, like straws and pencils, rather than not having enough space between neighbouring pieces. The textures on the rooks are also well done without being overbearing.
And yes, we’ve noticed that some pieces are not in their correct squares. And so has the builder. That’s the beauty of LEGO and chess – you can easily move the pieces back to their correct place without ruining the game.
Truly, LEGO builder car_mpmust be worthy, because this life-size version of Mjolnir, Thor’s Hammer, looks ready to demolish some dark elves or maybe just pin Thanos to the ground. Although it’s not a complex technique, the stacked brown and grey elements look great for the banded leather handle, while the smoothly tiled hammerhead itself seems to have the proper heft. Indeed, no doubt most of the 765-piece model’s complex building techniques are hidden deep within because it’s no small feat to get such a large weight to stay on the handle like that and not immediately fall off. The builder notes that it can be hefted, but does require some care.
LEGO may have released an official Flower Bouquet set now, but that doesn’t mean they’ve got a monopoly on great-looking life-sized flowers made out of plastic bricks. This beautiful orchid by James Zhan shows that there are a lot more possibilities waiting to be explored. This one comes in a lovely 2×2 brick vase (something the official set lacked) and isn’t just cut flowers but instead the whole orchid plant. Look closely and you’ll even spot some bamboo stakes that help hold the flowers aloft. And my favorite detail is the succulent planted at the base, a common accompaniment to potted orchids.
I had to do a second take as I was scrolling the LEGO channels on Flickr on this one, did someone accidentally drop a non-LEGO creation into the feed? Upon closer inspection, I was pleasantly surprised to see a familiar builder, nobu_tary and an actual 1:1 scale of a chocolate bar. Without the tooth elements in silver, I’d probably need to take a third look just to make sure. I got to admit, the chocolatey 2×4 Flat Tile can make one salivate especially when it looks quite delicious at this angle and lighting. I think what does the trick is smooth bite formed by the inverted arch brick paired with a 1×2 flat tile. Then again, how is a bite ever this smooth? I’ve been fooled nevertheless.
It’s the season of all things flora with LEGO and while typically we think of happy thoughts when we see such cheer and beauty in nature around us, sometimes they also represent sorrow and sadness. Every build has a story behind it, and this lovely creation by John Cheng was built with love in memoriam of a beloved sister that’s dearly missed. The soft yellow tones of the anthers are made with simple round plates, while the white petals and olive green shrubbery offer a very peaceful and warm feel.
In late 2020, LEGO released a LEGO grand piano in the Ideas line of their products, but you know what would go great with a LEGO Piano? A LEGO violin of course, and CK Ho on flickr crafted a beautiful brick-built violin for music fans to enjoy.
Unlike the piano, the violin is notably a curvy instrument, therefore the notion of a brick-built violin already presents a challenge in shaping the form of such an object with LEGO bricks. This builder smartly utilizes reddish brown brick arches in order to create the curving body of a violin with LEGO. The rest of the violin’s corpus is comprised of reddish-brown bricks, plates, and tiles arranged by way of the SNOT (studs not on top) technique.
The holiday season has been a tough one this year. The COVID situation in the US means that I can’t be with all the people I care about, and every wintery milestone goes by with a hefty helping of separation. But, thanks to Allyson Gail I can at least share a wry bit of LEGO creativity that makes a good pun out of the whole deal. She’s once again taken the hard-to-repurpose brick separator and turned it into something special. This time it’s a holiday wreath that could easily go toe-to-toe with LEGO’s own offering.
You’d be forgiven if you thought this was just a clever arrangement of parts on a flat surface. But, if you look closely, you can see that all of the separators are actually connected by a hinge plate. That means that this creation can even go on a wall (if you hang it from a standard over-the-door wreath hook). And let’s also take a moment to enjoy the construction on that bow! The smooth lines and curves really play well with the texture of the separators.
My own collection of green brick separators is too small to duplicate this build myself, but maybe I can find some other holiday creation to reverse engineer. I’ll have some time on my hands, after all…
We’ve featured a number of great LEGO recreations of cameras over the years, but Milan Sekiz went the extra mile by recreating all the essential accessories, too. Along with the Nikon D7100 camera, there’s a Nikon SB600 flash, Sherpa 200R tripod, and a Phottix remote. Some standout details include the excellent use of angled slope tile to create the camera body, as well as the tread on a LEGO tire standing in on the texture on the lens housing. (But the best detail has to be the tiny bit of chain link in the dial.) I also like the use of quarter-circle tile to create smooth lines on the flash.
Even better, the various builds can be combined just like the real thing. This rear view of the camera with the flash attached also shows off a cool extra – a LEGO camera strap!
I’m not going to pretend I know a lot about music, but I’m sure many are familiar with what an audio mixer looks like – lots of switches and lights, the functions of with I’m personally not familiar with at all. However, as a person who gravitates towards gadgets, these switchboards certainly do look cool to me, or maybe John Snyder’s LEGO model of one makes them look cooler than they are.
The switchboard body uses some standard bricks, tiles, and slopes in black assembled via the SNOT (studs not on top) technique. This build is part of an Iron Builder challenge, the seed part is the modified 2×3 plate with bar in dark red, but there are many other interesting small elements utilized here such as the broad-brimmed castle helmets which serve as dials and the technic piston cups in yellow. Of course, I am a fan of trans-clear elements, and Snyder has thrown in a few of those like the minifigure heads at the far left and some light pieces that look exactly like LED lights. Snyder’s model certainly makes me want to learn more about these cool pieces of tech and how exactly they work.
Ah, bureaucracy. Nothing is quite like the teeth-grinding angst of shuffling papers and getting the right permits. There’s also nothing quite like this creation by Inthert. Making use of an unusual 2×3 modified LEGO plate as a basis, they’ve managed to stamp out something new. There are a lot of great techniques in play, from the white rubber band around the pen clip to the layered wall panels that make up the pages of the book. But the skill used in inverting the rubber stamp’s pattern onto the page is the real treat for me.
This build is part of the latest Iron Builder challenge. Check out our archives for more great creations from that competition.